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Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Correction to yesterday's post

Hi folks,

I made a critical error in my piece on Lycos yesterday, one that has left me with the writer’s equivalent to the blue-screen of death, the red-face of embarrasement. Yesterday I noted that Lycos owns Wired Magazine. That is not true. Wired Magazine is a Conde Nast publication.

Lycos owns Wired News.

Sorry about the error.

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Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Are Google SERPs Entirely Organic?

Google has made another alteration the Google Help Center, this time removing the assurance that Google’s results are completely automated. The change was first noted by Phillip Lenssen in his Google Blogoscope.

As recently as February 2, the document outlining Google’s Principles stated, ” The order and contents of Google search results are completely automated. No one hand picks a particular result for a given search query, nor does Google ever insert jokes or send messages by changing the order of results. Read more…

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from Lycos. Long lost amidst the choppy seas of corporate change, Lycos was once one of the ruling elite. Today, Lycos appears to be a number of fragmented shells of its former self. That might be changing soon though. Read more…

A report in today’s Financial Times says, “Yahoo has called for broad co-operation among internet, media and communication companies and the US government to counter Chinese censorship on the web.”

The company is calling on the other tech giants, along with the US Government to take a harder, collective stand against Chinese Government censorship of the web. Read more…

Something interesting is happening at the Googleplex. Just a week after publicly slapping BMW for using cloaking and doorway techniques, Google has confirmed a much larger penalty it applied in 2004 against what was once one of the largest SEO firms in the world, Traffic Power. When an SEO firm gets its own site banned from Google it is somewhat interesting but not terribly newsworthy. It becomes an enormous story when that firm’s client list is banned from the index.

About eighteen months ago, Google assigned a penalty against Las Vegas based Traffic Power setting off a chain of events that continue to affect the SEO community to this day. Read more…

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Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Lycos Responds to Lights out Rumour

Yesterday I printed a rumour circulating through the search marketing world that Lycos was giving up the ghost of organic search. The story stemmed from a blog posting from John Battelle who I consider to be one of the most credible and well informed observers in the sector.

This morning, Lycos Director of Public Relations, Kathy O’Reilly, sent me an email in response to the article. Read more…

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

The Final Telegram

The beginning of our era ended almost two weeks ago. The last Western Union telegram was sent on Friday January 27th.

Western Union has a long and storied history. Though the company continues to thrive as a money-transfer service, it was among the first public-access electronic communications providers. Within a decade of its founding it was certainly the largest. As the company grew, it developed and introduced a number of communications technologies, each revolutionary for its time. Read more…

For almost a full year we have been preaching a brand of search engine optimization that quotes heavily from the gospel of Usability. Under our marketing philosophy, sites should be designed and optimized in order to make transit from any given entry point (not necessarily the index page) to the desired goals and expectations of both visitors and site owners, as simple and intuitive as possible. Read more…

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Great Geek Joke

I saw a hilarious Geek-joke while reading the forums over at Search Engine Watch. It came from the signature used by SEW member Vayapues and, while it might be as old as the hills, it is the first time I’ve read it. Short, sweet and just punny enough to make me giggle every time I re-read it.

“10 types of people in the world. Those who know binary and those who don’t.”

Thanks Vayapues

The firm I work for, StepForth Placement is making a service out of cleaning up other people’s search marketing messes. That alone is not big news. As a part of our general services SEO firms have been cleaning up other people’s messes for years. What is big news is that Google finally appears to be taking action against some of the most egregious forms of “black-hat” SEO techniques. Cleaning up messy SEO might be more important than ever. Read more…